Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

Graduation Requirements


Graduation Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree

To be recommended for a bachelor's degree, a student must:

  1. Complete one year's work, normally the year of graduation, earning at least 30 credits in courses given by Michigan State University. A senior who has earned sufficient credits from this University and met the minimum requirements as stated below, through prior arrangement with the associate dean of the college and the registrar, may be permitted to transfer not to exceed 10 of the last 30 credits from an accredited four–year college or university of comparable academic quality.
  2. Earn at least 27 credits on the East Lansing campus or at approved Michigan State University instructional sites after reaching junior standing.
  3. Complete at least 20 credits at Michigan State University while enrolled in the major in the college in which the degree is to be earned.
  4. Remove any deficiencies identified by Michigan State University placement test scores, as described in the Academic Placement Tests and Remedial–Developmental–Preparatory Courses sections.
  5. Complete the university mathematics requirement, as described below.
  6. Complete the university writing requirement, as described below.
  7. Complete the university Integrative Studies requirement, as described below.
  8. Complete satisfactorily an approved program of study in a college.
  9. Complete a minimum of 120 credits with at least a 2.00 grade–point average. Note that certain programs require more than 120 credits. See program degree requirements for specific totals.

Note: A maximum of 6 credits in English as a Second Language (ESL) 220, 221, 222 or 223 may count towards the 120-credit minimum.

Note: Fulfillment of Requirement 1. (above) by active-duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces may occur any time they are enrolled.  At least 30 credits or no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for the undergraduate degree must be earned in courses given by Michigan State University. Reservist and National Guardsmen on active-duty are covered in the same manner.

 


Mathematics Requirement (Effective Fall 2017)

The university Mathematics requirement ensures that all students build a foundation of quantitative literacy.  Each student must complete the university Mathematics requirement by fulfilling one of the options below:

  1. Complete two of the following courses:
    1. Mathematics 101, 102, or 103.
  2. Complete both of the following:
    1. Mathematics 103; and
    2. One of the following courses: Mathematics 112, 114, 124, 132, 152H, or 201; or Statistics and Probability 200 or 201. Students who place into any course in 2.b. via the Mathematics Placement Exam need only complete the course in 2.b. in order to fulfill the University Mathematics requirement. 
  3. Complete one of the following:
    1. Mathematics 110 or 116.
  4. Waiver through a proctored Mathematics Placement Exam yielding a score resulting in placement in Mathematics 132 (calculus). For additional information, refer to the statement on Academic Placement Tests – Mathematics (Algebra) in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog.

Students who transfer one of the following: Mathematics 112, 114, or 201; or Statistics and Probability 200 or 201 alone, with no other mathematics course above the level of MTH 1825, must take the Mathematics Placement Exam. Based on the score achieved, additional course work may be required to fulfill the university Mathematics requirement.

 

Incoming freshmen who have taken a College Board Advanced Placement Examination in Mathematics should consult the statement on Academic Placement Tests. Transfer students should consult the statement on Transfer Student Admission.

 

For students who are enrolled in Lyman Briggs College, the completion of Lyman Briggs 118 satisfies the university Mathematics requirement.

 


Writing Requirement

Each student must complete the university's writing program requirements as follows:

  1. The Tier I writing requirement that consists of either a. or b. below. (Effective Fall 2016)
    1. one of the following 4-credit Tier I writing courses during the first year: Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures 101 or 195H; or
    2. the developmental writing courses: Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures 0102 and 1004 and one 4-credit Tier I writing course during the first year. 
  2. Based on the English placement mechanism, a student may be  required to complete the developmental writing courses prior to enrolling in a Tier I writing course.  The developmental writing courses are administered by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures.  For additional information, refer to the statement on Academic Placement Tests.
  3. New freshmen who have taken the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in English should consult the statement on Academic Placement Tests. Transfer students should consult the statement on Transfer Student Admission.
  4. For students who are enrolled in James Madison College, the completion of James Madison College 111 or 112 satisfies the university Tier I writing requirement.

    For students who are enrolled in Lyman Briggs College, the completion of Lyman Briggs 133 satisfies the university Tier I writing requirement.

    For students who are enrolled in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, the completion of Residential College in the Arts and Humanities 111 satisfies the university Tier I writing requirement.
  5. The Tier II writing requirement for the student's academic major and degree program.  This requirement involves writing in the student's discipline and is met by completing either:
    1. one or more 300–400 level Tier II writing courses as specified for the student's academic major and degree program, or
    2. a cluster of 300–400 level courses that involve writing experiences and that are approved as the Tier II writing requirement for the student's academic major and degree program.


Integrative Studies

Integrative Studies is an important component of Michigan State University’s unique approach to liberal general education, offering a core curriculum  that complements specialized work by students in their majors.  Integrative Studies courses integrate multiple ways of knowing and modes of inquiry and introduce students to important ways of thinking in the three core knowledge areas: the Arts and Humanities, the Biological  and Physical Sciences, and the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. They assist students during their study to develop as more critical thinkers.  They also encourage appreciation of our humanity and creativity,  human cultural diversity, the power of knowledge, and our responsibilities for ourselves and for our world.

Courses in Michigan State University’s Integrative Studies Program are aimed at developing intellectual abilities, including critical thinking and interpretive skills.  They help increase knowledge about other times, places, and cultures, key ideas and issues in human experience, and the scientific method and its usefulness in understanding the natural and social worlds.  They are expected to enhance appreciation of the role of knowledge, and of values and ethics, in understanding human behavior and solving social problems.  Finally, they help students recognize responsibilities and opportunities associated with democratic citizenship and with living in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent world.

The Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Letters has primary responsibility for the Arts and Humanities area of Integrative Studies at Michigan State University.

The Center for Integrative Studies in General Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences has primary responsibility for Integrative Studies courses in the Biological and Physical Sciences at Michigan State University.

The Center for Integrative Studies in the Social Sciences in the College of Social Science has primary responsibility for Integrative Studies courses in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at Michigan State University.

 


Requirements for the Integrative Studies Program

The completion of a minimum of 24 credits in Integrative Studies is required for each student. 

Each student must earn at least the specified number of Integrative Studies credits in each of the following three areas:  Arts and Humanities (8 credits); Biological and Physical Sciences (8 credits); and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (8 credits).

  1. In the Arts and Humanities area, students must complete one IAH course numbered below 211 and one other IAH course numbered 211 or higher. Completion of the Tier I writing requirement is the prerequisite for any IAH course below 211. Any IAH course below 211 serves as the prerequisite for any IAH course numbered 211 or higher.
  2. In the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences area, students must complete a sequence of two courses:  one 200–level course and one 300–level course. The 200–level course is the prerequisite for the 300–level course.
  3. In the Biological and Physical Sciences area, each student must complete 8 credits.  The 8 credits consist of 3 credits in Biological Sciences, 3 credits in Physical Sciences, and a 2–credit laboratory experience, taken concurrently with one of the courses. Completion of a defined level of mathematics is a prerequisite for courses in both the biological and physical sciences.

    3.1. The Biological and Physical Sciences requirement may be met by alternative courses approved for specific academic major and degree programs for students enrolled in those programs.

    3.2. A student who changes from a major having approved alternative courses in Biological and Physical Sciences to a major which requires the regular Integrative Studies sequence will be given credit for the alternative courses already completed.

Many of the courses in the Arts and Humanities area and in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences area, emphasize national diversity (designated "N" at the end of the course title), or international and multicultural diversity (designated "I" at the end of the course title).  Some courses emphasize both national diversity, and international and multicultural diversity (designated "D" at the end of the course title).  Students must include at least one "N" course and one "I"  course in their Integrative Studies programs.  A "D" course may meet either an "N" or an "I" requirement, but not both.


Dual Enrollment


Undergraduate and Graduate

For information, refer to the Dual Enrollment by Undergraduates statement in the Graduate Education section of this catalog. 

 


Additional Major

With the permission of the relevant department and college, a student who is enrolled in or has completed a Michigan State University bachelor's degree program may elect to complete the requirements for an additional major. An additional major may be completed within the number of credits required for the student's bachelor's degree program or with only such additional credits necessary to satisfy the requirements for the additional major. The additional major consists of the specified requirements of the major and, where required, of the college.

A student who is interested in completing an additional major should contact the department that administers the intended additional major. The department requests the additional major from the college to update the student's record.

The completion of the additional major will be noted on the student's final transcript. Only the primary major of the student's bachelor's degree program will be designated on the student's diploma.

 


Time Limit for Completing a Bachelor's Degree

There is no time limit for the completion of the bachelor's degree.  For students who have been admitted to a major, progress toward the degree shall be evaluated on an individual basis after an assessment of the student's academic record and degree requirements. The student shall be informed of the remaining requirements for graduation at the time of admission or readmission to the major and encouraged to complete his or her degree.

Requirements for a major or degree program may be updated through the appropriate university processes.  Changes in a major or degree program shall be implemented in a manner which will not delay the graduation date or significantly alter the program of a currently enrolled student who is making normal progress toward the degree. Michigan State University must reserve the right to modify or eliminate programs that are described in this publication. In the event such an action is taken, students affected will be advised by their units of the options available to them to complete their degrees. Every reasonable effort will be made to permit students to complete these programs or similar programs.

 


Requirements for a Second Bachelor's Degree

To pursue a second bachelor's degree, a student must be admitted to the second bachelor's degree program. To be granted a second bachelor's degree, a student must earn at least 30 credits in residence in addition to the credits required for the first degree and meet the specified requirements of the second college and  major. A student who completes the requirements for a second bachelor's degree will receive two diplomas, one for each major.